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life sciences Accomplishments

Nov 20, 2018
Tanviben Patel,  Mark Buttner, Dr. Joram Seggev (Environmental and Occupational Health), Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences), Chad Cross  (Environmental and Occupational Health, and Medicine), and former student David Rivas co-authored an article in The Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment titled "Variation in Airborne Fungal Spore Concentrations Among Five Monitoring Locations in a Desert Urban Environment."

Oct 31, 2018
Alexis Billings, Katherine Schultz, Eddy Hernandez, W. Elizabeth Jones, and Donald Price (all Life Sciences) had a paper, "Male Courtship Behaviors and Female Choice Reduced during Experimental Starvation Stress," published in Behavioral Ecology this month. The paper stems from work done in Price's laboratory. Billings, a postdoctoral researcher, is the lead author. Schultz and Jones, both are Ph.D. students, while Hernandez is an undergraduate. Price is the principal investigator. The paper follows up on previous work conducted with long-term starvation selection Drosophila melanogaster, which showed numerous physiological trade-offs with increased starvation resistance, from Allen Gibb’s lab also in the School of Life Sciences. This new study explored how some of these physiological trade-offs may influence important behaviors such as courtship in males and mate choice in females. Both males and females selected for starvation resistance showed changes in behavior: males spent less time wing waving, which is an important courtship behavior that produces a song for the female, and females selected for starvation resistance evolved reduced mate discrimination, mating equally with control and starvation-selected males. These results suggest that although the selected flies can survive longer without food, this comes at a cost to mating behavior in both males and females.      

Oct 5, 2018
Mandy Mountain and Dan Thompson (both Life Sciences) earlier this month were awarded the Faculty Award for the UNLV Image of Research for their image entitled Caterpillar of the Endangered Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly Attracting an Ant Mutualist

Sep 25, 2018
Eduardo Robleto (Life Sciences) has been awarded a three-year grant for $428,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study mechanisms of evolution in stressed bacteria. His research team includes international scientists and seeks to understand how microbes, including bacterial pathogens, adapt to inhospitable environments or become resistant to antibiotics. As a LatinX professor, his efforts to promote inclusion and model our different, daring, and diverse institution include mentoring several intersectional students, working to promote student research for undergraduates as well as graduate students, researching knowledge creation in an equity-driven environment, and furthering the School of Life Sciences by procuring more than $3.2 million since 2006 from the NIH and the National Science Foundation to fund research uncovering new mechanisms of evolution.

Sep 18, 2018
Aude Picard (Life Sciences) was awarded a Research Infrastructure Grant of $45,000 from the Nevada Space Grant Consortium for her research project “Evaluating the Impact of Oxidation on Biosignatures Preserved in Minerals”. She will study the composition and physical properties of minerals precipitated in the presence of microorganisms and evaluate how they respond to environmental changes. This work is relevant for the search of microbial life on Mars and other planets.  

Sep 13, 2018
On Sept. 5 the Academic Success Center (ASC) celebrated its 10-year anniversary and as part of its celebration recognized former students, faculty, departments, and community leaders that have made the ASC such an exemplary center. They are: Dean’s Award - Carl Reiber (formerly of the provost's office) Dean’s Award - Regent Kevin Page Founder’s Award - Neal Smatresk (former UNLV president) Outstanding Impact Award - philanthropist Christina Hixson  Classified Dedication Award -  Monica McNeely (ASC) Full-time Faculty Dedication Award - Salvador Mora (ASC) Graduate Student Ambassador Award - John Starkey (Lee Business School) Alumni Award of Excellence - Devante Davis, '15 BS Public Administration Alumni Award of Excellence - Crestcencia Ortiz-Barnett, '10 BA Theatre Arts, '15 MA Theatre Arts Alumni Award of Excellence - Ashley Rapuano, '16 BA Theatre Arts Outstanding Graduate Award - Lily Sender, '18 BS Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Award - Angelica Bustos, '16 BS Biology Outstanding Graduate Award - Ariana Burton, '18 BA Anthropology Outstanding Graduate Award - Nha Trang "Vivian" Sam, '17 BS Biology Lifetime Partner in Student Success - College of Liberal Arts Lifetime Partner in Student Success - University Libraries Lifetime Partner in Student Success - College of Engineering

Sep 12, 2018
Elizabeth Stacy (Life Sciences) was an invited speaker at the American Genetics Association’s Annual President’s Symposium in Kamuela, Hawaii, in July.  The theme of this year's symposium was "Origins of Adaptive Radiation." She spoke on evolution in a sea of trees: adaptive radiation where populations are continuous, gene flow is high, and intrinsic barriers are slow to arise.    

Sep 7, 2018
Brian Hedlund, Kelly Ai-Sun Tseng (both Life Sciences), Dharini Bhammar, Arpita Basu (both Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences), and Sarah Harris (Electrical and Computer Engineering) participated in the annual statewide Nevada-INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno last month. The faculty members, supported by NV-INBRE, presented lectures on their research. Additionally, nine UNLV undergraduates presented posters highlighting their research. Nevada-INBRE is funded by the National Institutes of Health through a $17 million grant intended to improve the biomedical research infrastructure in Nevada.

Aug 31, 2018
Jenifer Utz (Life Sciences) and Matthew Bernacki, formerly of UNLV's department of educational psychology and higher education, published "Voluntary Web-Based Self-Assessment Quiz Use is Associated with Improved Exam Performance, Especially for Learners with Low Prior Knowledge" in HAPS Educator, the official publication of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS). This study was conducted in a large enrollment Human Anatomy and Physiology undergraduate course and documented that student use of optional learning resources significantly improved exam performance (+11.9%).

Aug 7, 2018
Tanviben Y. Patel, Mark Buttner, and Chad Cross (all Environmental and Occupational Health), and Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences), along with David Rivas, '18 Master of Public Health, and physician Joram Seggev, wrote an article, "Variation in Airborne Pollen Concentrations Among Five Monitoring Locations in a Desert Urban Environment," which was published in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. The article compares pollen concentrations in five locations in Las Vegas to determine if there are significant differences between microenvironments within the city.